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Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, I rise to engage in a colloquy with my colleague and friend, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Mr. Issa.

I'd first like to thank the chairman for his hard work. His efforts to update the Federal Information Security Management Act have been commendably inclusive and bipartisan, and I want to thank him and his staff, as well as Mr. Cummings and Mr. Connolly and their staff, for all the outreach and good faith negotiation that's occurred during the crafting of this legislation.

There can be no question that the FISMA reform language before the House today is both sorely needed and long overdue. To this end, together with my good friend and our former colleague, Ms. Watson, I introduced an amendment that passed the House overwhelmingly last Congress during consideration of the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.

That amendment, which was, unfortunately, stripped out during conference with the Senate, would have made important updates to FISMA, in addition to establishing a National Office for Cyberspace in the Executive Office of the President.

Such an office has been recommended by the Obama administration's 60 Day Cyberspace Policy Review, public-private sector working groups such as the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, which I cochaired with my good friend, Mr. McCaul, and the GAO, as a response to security deficiencies throughout the Federal Government.

While I applaud my friend for delivering on the need for FISMA reform, I'd like to ask the chairman if he gave thought to such organizational changes within the executive branch and, in particular, an organization like a National Office for Cyberspace during the drafting of this legislation.

I yield to my friend.


Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentleman for that. In that spirit, I'd like to encourage the gentleman to continue in this open and bipartisan fashion. I'd like to ask if you would be interested in working together on such subsequent legislation, along with Mr. Cummings and Mr. Connolly, who have been so involved and thoughtful on this issue.

I believe that such legislation should include strong, centralized oversight to protect our Nation's critical infrastructure, including budgetary oversight powers, while remaining accountable to Congress.

Mr. ISSA. I couldn't agree with the gentleman more. Your work with our staff has been essential. I look forward to doing exactly that, and I think we have to have that ongoing effort to get to there.

I saw the ranking member's head also shaking. I know that we will both look forward to working with you on a bipartisan basis.

Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentleman for that, and I look forward to working with my good friend to ensure that our Federal Government is properly addressing this critically important issue.


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